“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 08

Social Media

You either love it or hate it – that’s the Social Media I am referring to. Whatever you may think of it, it’s well established, here to stay and part of everyday living – for some anyway. Unless you embrace it, you will miss the boat – and it’s one boat some people are very happy to miss, while others scramble to stay on. So, in wanting to keep up appearances, SAILING Mag has now embraced Facebook and Twitter – so go and have fun and let’s hear from you.

What I hate about Facebook is how some people believe that the world really wants to know exactly what they are doing all the time. I really don’t care if they have just ‘checked in at Virgin Active’. Maybe they are just trying to make themselves look good – but that takes a ton of effort in the gym, not a few words on facebook. And the fact that they have been to Wakaberry for the umpteenth time this week is of no interest other than they should be checking in to Virgin Active! I could go on, but will keep my thoughts to myself! There is some good banter one gets, and it’s always good to find a long lost friends or simply catch up on what’s happening with your ‘Facebook Friends’.

I am never sure whether one ‘Twitters’ or ‘Tweets’ as some people are twitterers and others quite simply love to tweet! So whatever category you fall in to, we are at @sailingmagrsa

On Facebook you will find Sailing Magazine SA.

Clipper Race
The Clipper Race has arrived and left local waters, but what a time they are having in the Southern Ocean.

48 Hours after departure a ferocious storm whipped up and wind speeds of up to 90 miles per hour (78 knots) lashed the fleet, providing dramatic surfs and towering waves as the boats headed south through the Indian Ocean’s Agulhas Current into the Roaring Forties.

Two boats had casualties who had to evacuate crew off Port Elizabeth before rejoining the race. Mission Performance and Derry-Londonderry-Doire medivaced Australian David Griffin and Brit Michelle Porter. The NSRI played an active role in these two rescues so it was pleasing to see that the Clipper Race donated R50 000 to the NSRI coffers.

The latest reports show that the fleet is headed for more strong winds.

The race can be followed at: www.clipperroundtheworld.com

The fleet is tracked, so go onto the site and click on the tracking button and see how they are doing. It’s very interesting as not only is the course and speed provided, but weather info too.

NSRI Donations
The NSRI rescue service basically comes free. There is no charge levied or account sent for the services they offer, yet some people are quite simply too mean to make a contribution to their coffers after being assisted. I believe that these people should be named and shamed.

If they are too embarrassed at having to be rescued they should swallow their pride and dig deep as the guys ‘n girls who man the NSRI boats and head out in the foulest of weather, all do it as volunteers without any pay.

The NSRI is self funded, so all donations, however big or small, are most welcome.

The NSRI is a non-profit organisation that began in 1967 as a humanitarian service, at no charge to the public. Today the organisation is manned by over 940 highly skilled volunteers at 32 bases around the coast and on 3 inland dams. Their volunteers are on standby 365 days per year and respond to any call for help. Their technical experts, auditors and board of Directors are also all unpaid volunteers. These volunteers save NSRI a salary bill in excess of R250M per annum.

They have a fleet of 92 rescue craft, 27 vehicles and access to a range of helicopters. They enjoy a good working relationship with other emergency services and we believe that it is through team effort that lives are saved.

The annual running costs of the NSRI are in excess of R25m and are entirely funded by donations, bequests and sponsorships. Little if any funding comes from Government – something the Government should be ashamed of.

Next time you see an NSRI donation box, please give generously.

Awesome Sailing Pics – Yacht Racing Image Award
Seventy of the world’s best yacht racing photographers, representing seventeen nations, have submitted a picture for the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award 2013.

The public is now invited to vote online, so go to www.yachtracingimage.com/gallery/contest-2013/ and have a look at some incredibly great sailing pics, and then take a few minutes to vote. Cut-off is 30 November for public voting.

To vote you have to click on the image you like, and then ‘like’ the pic – although you have to have Facebook for this. But by clicking on the pic there is info as to how the photographer was able to get the pic, plus what camera and lens was used, as well as exposure settings. All quite fascinating if you are in to photography.

I know which is my favourite!

Intrepid or Plainly Stupid?
Austrian extreme sailor Norbert Sedlacek is chasing two new records!

He is sailing a 4.90 boat called FIPOFIX and wants to cross the North Atlantic in a 16-foot boat single-handed and non-stop from East to West and then return via the southern route. That’s two records if he makes it.

Departure is from Les Sables d’ Olonne (France) after which he hopes to sail past the Statue of Liberty. This is expected to take 6 – 8 weeks. The return passage will commence in May.

His boat is basically open and has just 1.5 m² of “protected” area.

He can be followed at: www.norbertsedlacek.at

It may be a bit rich referring to Sedlacek as ‘possibly plainly stupid’ as he may well be a normal kind of guy wanting some adventure. We all know that Ant Steward circumnaviagted the planet in an open boat, and look at him – he’s as normal as the rest of us.

MSC SAS 2013 Youth Nationals!
There is just over a month to go before this event commences, and the organisers are appealing to all competitors – and their parents – to ensure that their entry forms are submitted timeously as entries close on 29 November after which a late entry penalty applies.

All the info is at:  www.youthnationals.co.za
The entry form is at: www.youthnationals.co.za/#!gallery/cwvn

There is a delightful book entitled “How to be a Successful Optiparent” which was published in New Zealand some years ago. It’s a must read for all parents going to the nationals.

I will reveal some of its contents and words of wisdom in the next “Talking Sailing”.

The Most Talked About Underground Regatta this Year
I love it when sailors get creative and actually achieve, especially when there is some humour involved too.

I received word, very hush hush though, that there was an African America’s Cup event recently! Now why did I not know about it earlier, and why was it kept secret? I suppose it’s best not to go there?

Suffice to say it included a few very serious ‘very ex’ dinghy sailors.

My intrepid reporter had this to say: “It is with great sadness that we have to report that Team New Zealand won the regatta (in this case, Jamie Waters who’s been in Southern Spars Auckland office for three years). It does throw the 2014 event into a bit of controversy, but we’re not at the stage of taking it to the Wynberg Magistrates Court just yet!”

You know what, this event is far to important to have anonymous reporters in stealth mode, making it difficult for me to get all the facts, so here goes as this is what I was eventually able to unearth, thanks to Steve Burnett.

“There are four basic things required for a regatta. Sailors, boats, wind and water. Throw them all together and eventually you will come up with a winner. The concept behind the Cool Steve Anarchy Invitational (AKA the African America’s Cup) has been bouncing around my head for a few years now. I’ve got a group of friends and they’re labelled the ‘sailing crowd’, most of us met at a dinghy regatta somewhere along the way from Oppie or Dabbie nationals to the legendary SASSU university champs. All of us can sail, but since none of us have boats, we don’t (I’m excluding the odd fling on a keelboat for Wednesday night beercan racing and windsurfing). I don’t think it’s uncommon that the pace of life in the twenties and thirties pushes sailing off the agenda till it’s time to put your own little sprog into an Oppie, but this article is not about that.

The idea was to have a lot of fun, get some sailing done and most of all have a lot of fun. The best way to do this is to keep it simple, thus four very simple rules were drawn up.

* Supplied boats of one design variety
* dam must be within two and a half hours of Cape Town and never previously hosted a regatta
* accommodation at the venue must be much fancier than the boats
* regatta is held once a year, only in the spring months of October, November or December.

Just in case no one took me seriously enough, I did the important things of sending out a Notice of Regatta, setting up a website, getting a trophy and most importantly taking deposits for accommodation. I was the self-appointed Life President/Defender and drew up a Deed of Gift, the rabble would spend the Saturday in an elimination series to earn the right to challenge for the trophy on the Sunday. The venue location was held in secret till the last week, in a desperate attempt to try and keep some advantage to the defender.

As the time came closer, the banter increased – mostly about who needed the most handicapping and where we could find dodgy but equal boats. Theewaters Sports club stepped in here, and we got a good rental deal on two of their club mirrors for the weekend. They were ideal singlehanders keeping the racing close, but rewarded good technique and luck in equal measure. The location was my trump card – Rusty Gate Farm is halfway up a very long and bumpy road in the Riviersondereind Mountains, has a dam of about 2 hectares with a foofie slide, canoes, a grassy patch and a view that goes for miles. It got a solid two thumbs up from the support crew.

A race briefing was held quite late after a fairly festive Friday night, we had a plan to reduce the seven eligible challengers to a victor, in what was dubbed the Louis Mutton cup. The wind was patchy and unreliable at best, but we managed to keep the sausage/samoosa short course always starting with a first beat of about 40m. Despite a few upsets along the way four sailors who all started twenty years ago on Oppies made it to the knockouts. The names Sterling, Waters, Runciman and Gardner would be well known to anyone at a junior nationals in the nineties.

The best of three final was held in a now reliable breeze and Jamie Waters edged out Craig Sterling in some close racing that went down to the last beat of the third race. There was plenty of action to talk about that night especially the dark art of getting and keeping a Mirror moving in switchy wind. The cold beers helped subdue any sunburn, hot steaks off the braai eased the surprisingly stiff and cramped muscles. There’s not many finer things to do in life than mess about in boats with friends.

The Challenger Jamie Waters has spent the last three years in the Auckland office of Southern Spars, so was a good fit as Team New Zealand. Unfortunately for the Defender, with the campaign in turbo-reverse after two heavy defeats there was no Ben Ainslie to switch out on the crew. A lazy eye from the race officer saw some alleged Rule 42 and 69 transgressions end the match with a somewhat respectable 3-1 result.

Will the new Defender be able to defend his trophy (which at the time of award, was the newest trophy in international sailing)? Any actions deviating from the Deed will no doubt see some serious litigation at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court that would make Ernesto and Larry proud.

In all seriousness, this was just a really good excuse to get on the water and have a blast. We achieved both and will turn a blind eye to any secret training that could happen before the 2014 event (assuming I get invited). What’s more important is that the eight WAGS (and four infants) had a good time at a sailing event and now have a better idea of what this ‘family sport’ we only talk about actually entails.

Steven Burnett
Life president, CSAI

Brilliant stuff Steve. Well done.

Check out Steve’s blog at:  www.africanamericascup.wordpress.com

Competing Internationally
It’s always difficult keeping up with our local lads and lasses who compete internationally, so it’s good to get news from them occasionally. I recently received news from Andrew Tarboton and Graeme Willcox who are campaigning a 49er in Europe and who hope to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

In October they competed in the first of the RYA National Ranker regattas. These are the regattas which the up-and-coming British teams need to sail in, in order to better their national ranking to obtain better funding for their season next year. This includes the top teams in the country bidding for the top few spots to ensure they stay in the podium squad and on their full funding.

“This was a great opportunity for us to sail against these top teams, some the best in the world, because the RYA want as many boats on the start line as possible, so they permit some overseas teams to participate” said Tarboton.

With just one day’s racing possible as day two was blown out, the guys finished 10th overall out of the fleet of 15. Although the position is a little disappointing, the encouraging part is the guys we were with on the race course the whole day, finished in the top third.

A few weeks later they were back at it in another similar UK Ranking event, but again bad weather caused racing to be cancelled with just two races being completed.

They will be at it again in mid-November when hopefully they will complete a full schedule of races.

These guys are indebted to Southern Ropes and SLAM Clothing for their continued support.

J22 Jiggery Pokery
What’s the ‘Status Quo’?
Not wanting to harp on this subject, but the J22 Class has been very quiet as to the status of the protest that the Appeals Committee said needed to be re-heard.

It is in everyone’s interest that the result of that protest be revealed, and that the final (ABF!) Results are published.

Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
● Just an error I picked up, the 1980 Dabchick Nationals sailed at Spionkop. They were won by Marin Pet (spelling?), a PYC member if I’m not mistaken. There was also a protest that went to appeal and David Hibberd who originally was placed 2nd had to swop his silver medal for bronze with Michael Matter.

ED. Maybe the Dabchick Class should check this out – unless others who were there can confirm what the reader says?

● With regards to your concerns about the apparent lack of interest in sailors purchasing the latest ISAF rules of sailing; I must just point out that all of my crew, including myself have the latest ISAF RRS app. ex iTunes. We have the app on the boat’s iPad along with the other useful available apps.
I agree with your sentiment, there are far too many sailors competing with very little knowledge of the racing rules, especially the latest rules. With regards to what is available in iTunes, is quite amazing. I have just downloaded an app called MiRC for handicap racing, check it out.

● In “Talking Sailing” Issue 07 you write about the end of nautical paper charts, with a final comment about whether the SANHO might have similar thoughts. I think it is time to lobby the SANHO to make all local raster charts available for free download. Half the world does it, but not South Africa. There is fantastic free navigational software available, but South African sailors still have to purchase very expensive electronic charts. I still encourage the carrying of paper charts at all times, but up-to-date and legal electronic charts would make a significant difference to local sailing.

I have sent emails to SAS on several occasions, always copying the SANHO, but have received zero response.

ED. I will contact SANHO and see what their view is.

● My dad, David Booth, just forwarded me the latest edition of “Talking Sailing”. Of particular interest was of course your article on previous junior national champions in the Oppy and Dabby classes. I remember fondly watching Jonathan Swain sailing in the then Whitbread Race on Chessie Racing while I was in Oppies. Some great names on the list.

I have recently moved to Sydney after spending 12 years in London. Naturally this was a great opportunity to get back into sailing. At the moment I am just participating in some social sailing at Middle Harbour Yacht Club but hope to do some racing soon, family commitments permitting.

I’ve also gotten in contact with Clynton Wade-Lehman who appears on the Dabby list and is also now living in Sydney. He is planning on doing the Sydney to Hobart race again this year having done it a few times in recent years.

It’s great to see your news and views continuing to be enjoyed by yachties around the world and I look forward with keen interest to reading future editions of Talking Sailing.
Regards, Richard Booth

● This is really great reading! The old pics in the sailing magazine are really interesting and a nice incentive. I have some old sailing mags which a club may like to use as reference. Any suggestions?

ED. If anyone is interested in the old mags, let me know and I will get the donor to contact you.

● Thank you, this was a great read! I have not received this newsletter before and look forward to receiving it again in the future. Incidentally, I was a huge sceptic of the new America’s Cup class until I watched the first race at which time I took a 180 degree turn. It was amazing and utterly addictive and I ended up watching every single race via their excellent app.

● Great stuff! Well done, fascinating reading, PLEASE keep it UP!

The Bitter End
My blood begins to boil when I receive regatta results which do not depict the full names of the competitors. Some just have the skipper name, and no crew name in the case of dinghies. Others just have a question mark in the skipper or crew field, or remain blank. My worst though is that far too often our rising development sailors names are not included or only the first name is provided.

Come on event administrators, get this right. Please!

The ‘Bitter End’ is the inboard end of an anchor chain or rode which should be attached to the vessel so as not to be lost overboard in it’s entirety. In terms of “Talking Sailing” it’s things about our sport which get up peoples noses!

“Talking Sailing” is written by Richard Crockett, the Publisher & Editor of SAILING Magazine, South Africa’s monthly sailing mag.

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“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 50

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